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AlbumsThe Price of Progression
For What It's Worth EP
Cast the First Stone
TIM SHAW - VOCALS
NATHAN - GUITAR
P-NUT - DRUMS
CHRIS OLIVER - BASS
CHRIS BYRNES - GUITAR
Formed in 1995 amidst the burgeoning New Jersey hardcore scene, Ensign emerged as one of the areaís most prominent and hardworking bands. To date, Ensign has released a new EP entitled For What Itís Worth, a split 7î with friends Death By Stereo on Indecision records, a split 7î with Reaching Forward from Holland on Reflections (available only in Europe), and a retrospective CD Three Years Two Months Eleven Days featuring the first two 7 inches plus comp tracks, live tracks and extra songs called (also on Indecision Records). Recording for the new full length The Price of Progression has been completed and is slated for a spring 2001 release date, followed by extensive touring.
Ensignís discography begins with their self-titled debut EP, which was released in May of 1996 (on Indecision records). Following the release, long time New Jersey scenester Nate Gluck (Strength 691, Vision) replaced founding bassist Walt Svekla. With their new bassist, Ensign hit the road with their friends Good Riddance for a summer tour.
After recruiting ex-Undertow drummer Ryan Murphy, Ensign followed up their summer with more touring. The spring and summer of 1997 saw the release of the Fall From Grace 7 inch and the untimely departure of founding guitarist John Fraumberger. Prior to John leaving, however, Ensign recorded their first full length album, Direction of Things to Come. The album was released in November of 1997 via Indecision. With John on his way back to school for a teaching degree, Ensign grabbed friend and fan Ryan ìMackenzieî Donohue to take over the guitar duties. With a handful of new songs, they headed into the studio in December 1998 to record their first album on Nitro Records, titled Cast the First Stone.
Playing to such diverse crowds has endeared the band to an ever-increasing following of fans, bridging both the hardcore and punk scenes. Ensign has shared the stage with Sick Of It All, AFI, Good Riddance, H2O, Avail, the Suicide Machines and many others. The band also satisfied their insatiable appetite for touring with successful trips in the spring of 1998 to both Europe and Japan, followed by a support slot on Good Riddanceís Canadian tour, as well as countless local area appearances. Early 1999 saw Ensign in Europe supporting Sick Of It All. With only a few days to recover from jet lag, Ensign geared up and headed off to the Great White North for select dates on the Canadian Sno-Jam 5 tour. After that they quickly turned around and pounded out 2 consecutive headlining US tours with Kill Your Idols and Stretch Armstrong, followed by another European tour. All of this touring was in support of the album Cast Your Stone
After years of dreaming, Ensign finally secured a tour of the Emerald Isle, which was an opportunity that the band could not miss since all of the members are of Irish descent. It was on this tour that they met John OíNeill, who stepped up to the plate when drummer Ryan Murphy announced his retirement from the Ensign ranks. Having become fond of Ryan over the last few years, his departure was a blow to the band. Despite the replacement, the band had no plans of slowing down. They have spent the better portion of the new millennium breaking in new drummer John and focusing on songs for their new album, The Price of Progression.
Yet another shock to the proverbial system was the exit of guitarist Mackenzie prior to their Euro2000 tour. With the lure of a normal family life and the exhaustive nature of Ensignís touring schedule, Mackenzie decided it was time for him to move on. This proved to be a pivotal point for Ensign. Nate, who had been the principal songwriter since joining the band since joining the band in 1996, had the choice of staying on as bassist or taking over as the new guitarist.
With not much time for a decision, Nate grabbed his old friend and former bandmate Chris Oliver (Weapon X, The Purpose, Something In The Water) and taught him the current live set as well as a few of the newer songs. They headed off to Europe and surprised everyone with Nateís ability to pull off playing the guitar.
After returning home they headed into the studio to record the new album, this time leaving Nate the job of recording both bass and guitar. With a new attitude and new songs that were definitely different from their earlier release, they blew through the recording and are ready to release what the band feels is their best album to date. Nate and Tim are pleased to have finally recorded the album that the two of them had always talked about. Halfway through the recording, Chris Byrnes (Try.Fail.Try, Nora) contacted the band interested in becoming a second guitarist. Chris joined the band in the studio where he was able to leave his mark on a few select tracks from the album. With the addition of Chris on guitar, the question of what to do still remained. And the changes did not stop there either. The replacement of John OíNeill with new drummer P-Nut marked yet another change for the band.
Nate has decided to stick to playing guitar until a suitable replacement can be found, at which point he can return to his long lost bass duties so the band can become the 5 piece theyíd like to be. Touring plans for 2001 include Europe, U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and possible South America. Through their continuing musical growth and touring schedule, Ensign is certain to be a band on the rise. Spark the revolution, Ensign is coming!